Ilmar Norvik, corporate strategy leader, Owens Corning Venture Investments, is one of our rising stars in corporate venturing in 2023.

Ilmar Norvik, Rising Stars, 2023

Ilmar Norvik, a corporate strategy leader at insulation, roofing and fibreglass composite materials producer Owens Corning, was one of the founding members of the corporate venturing team in 2021. 

Reporting to the corporate’s chief growth officer, Dan Smith, Owens Corning Venture Investments has so far invested in six companies, in fields such as robotics and 3D printing and offsite panel manufacturing, among others. 

The CVC unit does not yet have an independent fund and is investing off the balance sheet. Unlike the M&A division, Norvik’s team does not come under the remit of the CFO but rather the firm’s corporate strategy and growth group, meaning the investment process is more suitable for early-stage investments. 

“We need to be even nimbler,” Norvik admits. “But I think we’re set up fairly well for now to make some quick decisions.” 

The unit targets startups based in the US and Europe. As Owens Corning is a manufacturer, Norvik says his team is interested in seeking out the way materials and methods evolve by engaging with entrepreneurs and tailoring the products to their needs. 

“We’re set up fairly well for now to make some quick decisions.”

Europe is the firm’s second home market, roughly a quarter of the enterprise revenue stems from the region. Therefore, Norvik adds, he hopes for the CVC team to invest more actively in European startups this year. 

When identifying investment opportunities, Norvik tries to find the right match between the startups and Owens Corning. For the portfolio companies, the firm can provide its know-how including material science, distribution channels, R&D and testing capabilities. 

Norvik joined Owens Corning in 2016 as a market analyst, and he was promoted to senior analyst four years later. Prior to moving to Ohio, he had been based in Houston, Texas for four years focusing on the commodities market covering petroleum-based products. 

See the full list of Rising Stars 2023 here.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.